The Istrian peninsula is a wonderful travel alternative to the usual Mediterranean destinations. It has a scenic landscape and is culinary heaven. Moreover, Croatia has few Corona cases and is therefore a safe destination for summer travels in 2020. Istria is located in the northwestern part of the Adriatic coast of Croatia and is easily accessible from southern Germany. If you are planning to go to Istria soon, you will love these tips. We were there the last week to get out of then rainy Germany and were thrilled. Nevertheless, I didn’t want to write a travel guide about it. Why? Strictly sustainable travel is generally quite difficult in Istria or the whole of Croatia. I guess sustainable thinking here does not play a major role in the tourism industry or among the guests, just yet. However, there are efforts being made to change that.
And since so many of you have asked about it, here is a little guide for the city of Rovinj. Istria is beautiful and I can only recommend it to everyone for this year especially as there’s no mass tourism. Rovinj, arguably the most beautiful city in Istria, boasts a beautiful old town, chic hotels, and crystal clear water. There are two Michelin-star restaurants in the area, both of which mainly use local ingredients.
Grand Park Hotel Rovinj
The Grand Park Hotel Rovinj was only opened in 2019 and is by far the best hotel in Rovinj. The cascading hotel building blends harmoniously into the surrounding parklands. Large glass walls let in a lot of light and offer a breathtaking view of one of the most beautiful coasts of the northern Adriatic. Rooms are also spacious and offer unparalleled views of the harbor and the old town. The signature style of the Italian architect Piero Lissoni is visible throughout the entire hotel. A highlight is the Albaro Spa, which stretches over two floors and features saunas, treatment rooms, and a large pool deck with three pools. Spa treatments are based on sea salt, herbs, flowers, and essential oils from the region.
Located directly at the harbor, Hotel Adriatic is Rovinj’s oldest hotel. Like the Grand Park, it belongs to the Maistra hotel group and also impresses with its chic design. Since the Adriatic has always been a meeting place for artists, it offers southern European artists the opportunity to exhibit their works in the hotel. It is also the first hotel in the region dedicated to avoiding disposable plastic.
Slow Food Restaurant Monte is located in the middle of the old town just below the church. It is the first restaurant in Croatia to receive a Michelin star. Here, modern European cuisine meets local ingredients. Star chef Danijel Dekic and his team buy fresh food daily at the Rovinj market. At Monte you can choose from three menus: red, blue, or green symbolize a focus on meat, seafood, or vegetarian.
Telephone: +385 52830203
Puntulina Restaurant & Wine Bar
From Puntulina you have the most beautiful sunset views. This family-run restaurant is located directly on the waterfront, built on cliffs. The innovative menu offers delicious seafood and local Istrian ingredients. The family produces its own organic olive oil, which is served in the three restaurants Puntulina, Rio, and Giannino. We have been to Puntulina twice because everything was just perfect, the service, the atmosphere, and the food were fabulous.
Telephone: +385 52 813 186
Swimming, Sailing, Cycling, Hiking
The Adriatic Sea is so crystal clear and everywhere along the rocky coast there are stairs and ladders that lead directly into the sea, so you can get to swim without any crowded beaches. In Croatia, the entire coast is open to the public and there are no private beaches. Try cycling or hiking on the trail along the coast. Or take a boat (electric or sailing) to the many islands. Remember to use a coral-friendly sunscreen that is healthy for both you and the sea.
Shop Local Delicacies at the Market
Did you know that one of the largest white truffles in the world was found in Istria? And that the wine and the olive oil are delicious? There is even an orange white wine type, that tastes wonderfully fruity fresh. Therefore, definitely head to the market to buy wine, oil, and truffles from the region. That way you’ll have delicious souvenirs to bring back home.